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jimmy986

How do you back up your files?

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I wasn't sure where to post this so hopefully this is the best place. I currently keep all of my photos on an 8 TB external drive. My Mac only has 1 TB of storage and my photos are just over 900GB. I need to get a back up for the external since I can't use my computer to store them on. What is a good way? I would love to have something that would automatically sync with my external but if need be it doesn't have to. Cloud storage would be nice because then I wouldn't be relying on two drives located together if anything should happen to my home. I know the easiest option would be to just buy a second drive and it may be what I do but I wanted to check and see if there were any better ideas.

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A small NAS device with "personal" cloud would probably help you. Its possible to configure the Disks in the NAS to be redundant, and they all seem to have "backup" method/button for copying to an external disk.

Western Digital make a few devices (i.e. My Cloud Pro Series PR4100), and QNAP make an even broader range of devices.

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I use a bunch of external drives, some DVDs and thumb drives short term. My main back up is the original SD cards. I'm a scatterbrain and have deleted files off my computer more than once and had to go back to the SD cards.

Cloud takes over the computer, didn't like it.  Stop paying the bill and in 30 days your cloud files go poof! Some of the media is kept off site.

 

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I always work from one main back up drive, then I duplicate/mirror that to a second hard drive. When that's full, I'll move to two new drives and do the same. It's a pain but always having duplicate backups is definitely worth it.

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So far as photographs is concerned, I don't delete the pics on my memory card unless or until I have to, so that is one copy, but I don't count it.

So far as photographs and all other data on my computer is concerned, I keep two external portable drives (It has just become necessary for me use 2Tb drives). About once a week, I make a backup to one of these drives and swap it with the other, which is kept at a friend's house in a different area. Technically, I use a linux program called grsync which just copies new files to a mirror directory tree on each drive. I also use tar for occasional systems backups from which I could (probably) restore my entire system without reinstallation. All this is very OS specific --- back in windows days I had an excellent sync program, but I forget its name.

This is a low-discipline, low-security, somewhat haphazard regime which I would have laughed at when it was my job to do this stuff. But it is good enough for me. If I lost a week of concert photos it would not be the end of the world, but if I lost a holiday's worth, that would be more serious. Professionals can add frequency, discipline and rigour.

It occurs to me to emphasise the importance of two things. First, a back-up disk should not be connected to a computer or to mains power except when in use. Second, one back-up should be at a different location.

I have not mentioned the cloud. I do not use it at all much, except for sharing. IF I had huge bandwidth and high internet speeds, I would use it --- as a convenience, or as another string to the bow. Personally and professionally (but long-since retired anyway) I believe in having physical possession of*, and responsibility for, my data. There is no company that is so perfect, whatever its size, that it will never have downtime, or so huge as to be completely immune from catastrophe.

Coming back to brass tacks: there are at least two, if not three (sometimes four!) copies of my photos (and music, and personal stuff) at nearly all times. The times when there is not is counted in hours and days.  

 

*Including that vital off-site storage, of course.

Edited by Thad E Ginathom

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